Is It OK To Delete Comments? 5 Creators on How They Moderate Content Online

Photo credit: Luis Molinero/Shutterstock Remix by Caterina Cox

Being an influencer might seem glamorous. However, content creators must make tough decisions beyond the brand deals and fandom. As an influencer’s audience grows, so does their engagement. Along with positive praise often comes endless negativity. What is too much? When is deleting negative comments on social media ok? 

A clear policy on handling aggressive commenters is essential to building a brand. It’s invaluable to stay consistent and transparent with your audience. So we’ve turned to five influencers to discover the best practices that guide their way. 

Here are five policies from influencers on whether or not they delete negative comments on their social media channels.

Five influencers on when deleting negative comments on social media are okay

1) Keep a zero-tolerance policy when deleting negative comments on social media

To streamline the decision-making process around deleting negative comments on social media, Renee Fuentes, a food influencer, keeps her policy simple. She told Passionfruit she keeps a zero-tolerance policy.

“Rude and hurtful comments get deleted on all my social media challenges,” Fuentes said. “ I want to share a positive and safe space on my channels, so there’s no room for rude behavior.”

However, Fuentes said there’s an exception for comments that leave constructive criticism or feedback. In those cases, she will reply and discuss the comment. 

2) Delete and block

deleting negative comments on social media - Extreme close up of a finger pressing the delete tab on a computer keyboard. Blue back lit computer laptop keys with a digit pushing the delete button. Cancel culture concept
Photo credit: Shutterstock/LBeddoe

For busy influencers, handling repeat offenders who leave negative comments is not something they have time for. Sara McDaniel, a home renovation influencer, told Passionfruit she takes a two-step approach to dealing with hurtful comments.

“When someone crosses the line and exhibits blatant disrespect, hate speech, or degradation, I will delete the comment and block the person,” McDaniel said. 

3) Don’t have a blanket approach 

If you’re not quite ready for a blanket approach, Kelsey Riley, a plant-based food influencer, decides what to do based on the comment.

She told Passionfruit that her general rule of thumb when deleting negative comments on social media is to delete anything hateful or harmful. However, if someone leaves a borderline comment or one that’s funny or critical (for example, someone said her fridge is ugly), she lets it stay up.

“I also get funny comments that are a little mean or controversial, and I’ll usually leave those up,” she said. “If someone is disagreeing with me or respectfully sharing another viewpoint, I will leave those up.”

4) Negative comments help engagement 

deleting negative comments on social media - cyber bullying concept. people using notebook computer laptop for social media interactions with notification icons of hate speech and mean comment in social network
Photo credit: Shutter/asiandelight

Over time, Chris Chapanar, a Whiskey influencer, has learned to quit patrolling negative comments. Not only does he find it time-consuming, but the negative comments can sometimes have a positive effect. 

Chapanar told Passionfruit he ignores the negative comments, but his followers don’t. They often respond to the comments.

“Debates in the comment section can actually be very beneficial to post’s engagement, so I find it best to leave comments, even if they go against the theme of my post,” he said. At the end of the day, someone out there will always disagree with you, and that’s okay.”

5) Deleting comments makes it worse 

For some influencers, deleting negative comments on social media isn’t something they believe in. Ashley Ryan, an influencer with over 400,000 followers across her social media accounts, told Passionfruit that deleting comments adds fuel to the fire.

“You can make a bad problem worse by deleting comments,” Ryan said.

Instead, she recommended restricting accounts for egregious offenders. By restricting those posters, you’ll be the only one to see what they wrote. Ryan says the people you restrict won’t know they’re restricted, effectively muting them.

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